Dom Lunnon got Birmingham 2nds season off to a flying start on Wednesday evening with a brilliant hat-rick to secure a convincing 5-2 victory over local rivals Worcester in a feisty encounter at Metchley.
The full-time score line however looked a long way off early on for Birmingham when a lack of communication at the back saw them go behind within two minutes of kick-off. Some persistent work from the visiting forward in closing down keeper Michael Brooker meant that the gloveman’s clearance could only deflect straight back off the striker and into the vacant net. From that moment on however, the hosts never looked back as they were in the lead themselves barely five minutes later.
It was striker Lunnon who got both the goals, firstly after some great work down the left wing from his Oliver Sitch, who beat two players before cutting the ball back for Lunnon who saw his first shot well saved, but then followed up well to tuck the ball home and level the scores. Three minutes later and Lunnon once again found himself some room to work with in the box, this time controlling the ball with his chest from a long throw before volleying home to settle the sideline nerves and put Birmingham into the lead.
The visitors could have then equalised just two minutes later but for a looping header hitting the bar, and they were punished for not doing so on the 15-minute mark as the hosts extended their lead. On this occasion it was a simple long ball over the top from the defence, Sitch rose the highest in a central position to win the leader, flicking the ball on with his head for Jake Williams to run onto and lift coolly over the visiting keeper to make it 3-1.
Mid-way through the first half Birmingham captain and centre-back Max Pashley was perhaps fortunate not to see red as he was booked for a really late, studs-up, challenge in midfield that rather typified the way this game was played for large periods. 10 minutes later however, the goals were back as Sitch was rewarded with one of his own after two assists. A lapse in concentration at the back from Worcester saw the striker run through on goal un-marked and place the ball into the bottom corner with a precise finesse finish to all-but seal the points for Birmingham just after the half-hour mark.
Early in the second half Sitch could have scored again but for his header narrowly missing as home keeper Brooker pulled off a few magnificent saves to keep Worcester from getting back into the game. They did eventually find one goal to bring it back to 4-2 but in the end it was Lunnon who had the final say as he secured his hat-rick with 10 minutes to play with another neat finish, making the final score 5-2 to the home side sending Birmingham into next week’s fixture away at Nottingham Trent full of confidence.